As promised (to some of my e-friends and IRL friends), I'm posting the letter that my sweet husband wrote to share with my father-in-love's congregation on Father's Day. He wrote this from a position of humility, not one of "arrival". He will fully admit that the very things that he wrote in here, he has either struggled with in the past, or still struggles with, himself. Don't preach this to your husband! If you care to share this with him, do so in a way that honors him as leader and father in your home, so that it may be received well.
Pete introduced this letter as one that he was afraid many men will have to "write" when their children are gone, if not on paper, then definitely in thought.
I am writing this letter to you today because there are many things I failed to pass on to
you while you were here in my house. I chose not to invest in your life when I had the
chance. Because of this, I have also failed your children. The things I should have
passed on to you should also have been handed down to them. You are at a
disadvantage because I was selfish and did not really love you as much as I told you.
My love for you and the rest of our family was very shallow. I chose to chase dreams
that had no eternal value and really only meant something to me. I called myself a
Christian, but I was only a follower of myself and my own pleasure. Your dreams and
needs were only considered after I took care of my wants. I should have known that
Satan desired to attack and destroy my family.
Mark 3:27 tells me, "But no one can enter the strong man’s house and plunder his
property unless he first binds the strong man, and then he will plunder his house."
I allowed myself to be tied up by Satan. I did not get on my knees daily to ask for the
strength I needed to battle for your life. My foolishness allowed my house to be
plundered. You were taken from me little by little and I did not even seem to care. Oh,
how must have felt when I chose myself over you everyday.
I should have sat down with our family everyday to pray for our families needs. You had
hurts and fears that needed my acknowledgment. I should have been the one taking
your needs to God when you needed direction and comfort. Instead I chose to stay up
late watching grown men play games on a box. A box that brought in more filth than
good to our home. I chose to keep this box in our home rather than to protect you from
temptations that you were not ready for. You were especially not ready to handle them
on your own.
I can still remember the last two times you came to me asking questions about what you
learned in Sunday School. The first time I told you "why don't you go ask your mother,
because she is in charge of all that stuff". The next time I am sure I said "you just need
to go ask your teacher, because they know better than me". Well basically I was telling
you, that they knew God's Word and I really did not have time for that sissy stuff. But
now, I understand that a real man should know his sword better than anyone else. I
should be the one leading our family time in God's Word. I should not have rested till I
was able to help you clearly dissect the truth, so that you had the armor you needed.
As Psalm 127:4 and 5 speaks to me, you should have been "like arrows in the hand of a
warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full
of them; They will not be ashamed When they speak with their enemies in the gate."
You should not have been ashamed when you faced the enemy, and even though you
may have had some fear in your heart, you would have known that God's Word was
hidden in your heart as well. You also would have felt comfort knowing that I was there
to ask for your protection by spending my free time on my knees praying for you.
Instead I chose to work extended hours away from home to pay for my wants instead of
spending time with you. I could have very easily paid for our needs, like a house and
food, without spending that extended amount of time away from you and our family. I
chose to invest in things that I can not even remember right now. But I do remember
seeing you drift away from me. You began to see strangers as your heroes. Those
people that could dunk or throw a football and that had body like a Mac Truck. So where
did your slightly overweight, older and slower father fit in to that hero worship. I didn't.
I should have taught you of real heroes. The fathers that gave their life and their living to
protect and to serve their families. The fathers that spent time with their family instead of
time on the golf course. Or the father that will go on a couple of hours of sleep to make
sure his children do not miss out on a time of spiritual growth, like attending church
together as a family.
I said I would have died for you, but I guess that did not include my living for you. Now
we are here to bury you because I chose temporal things over my living family. Now I
will be the one to raise your son, and I just hope I have learned my lesson.
Please forgive me son.
Your sinful father.